Don, how many guitars do you own?

I suppose I have around 300 or so. One I’ve had the longest is one I got when I was about fifteen.

Which of your guitars at home is at arm’s length?

Since I have a studio in my home I keep about 20 guitars at arm’s length. One or two in every room. The two that I have in hand most often are a Taylor Acoustic and a Gibson Les Paul. I user the Taylor for writing and acoustic work as well as for practice before I go out to do shows and I use the Les Paul to work out most of the electric guitar parts in the studio. Once I have them sketched out I’ll change guitar combinations until the balance between all the guitar parts fits well.

Do you maintain your guitars yourself or do you have them regularly checked by a technician?

I do very little maintenance on my own guitars. I design and have them custom built in some cases. I have a personal technician (guitar tech) as well as two master luthiers here in LA that do more custom work on my instruments for me. Custom wiring, fret jobs, paint jobs, routing hidden cavities, etc. are very specialized skills and I leave those talents to the pros.

What was your first priority as far as choosing the gear/amp set-up when recording Hotel California?

I used basically the same electric guitar setup on HC that I used on One Of These Nights. I wanted to use a recognizable sound/tone that would remain somewhat consistent from album to album. I used an entirely different setup for the acoustic 12 string part. It was a Takamine acoustic 12 string with a DeArmond pickup in it that was run into a Leslie and recorded both acoustically and from the turning Leslie in stereo. It results in a very unique acoustic sound.

If you were designing your own guitar, what would be the three most important features it should have and why?

The three most important things in an electric guitar for me are TONE, TONE, TONE. I can fix action, replace the neck, bridge etc. but if the TONE is not good I’ll pass no matter what it LOOKS like.

What expectations do you have of yourself as far as continuing to develop as a musician?

We are all continually developing as humans. This is reflected in the music we write and how we express ourselves in our music. I hope I will continue to develop both as a human and as a musician for the rest of my life.

Which piece of musical equipment would you like to see under your Christmas tree this year?

I would like to see the red Gibson 335 that was stolen from me in Florida in 1965. That would be a great Christmas gift and make me very happy!

Heavy Metal sounds like a fun song to play. Does this resurgence in its popularity mean we’ll be seeing you out playing it live more often?

I have been playing that song in my solo show for a few years now. I used to hear the fans at Eagles concerts yell it out and thought people might like to hear it. It goes over very well.

Were you aware at the time you wrote the song […Heavy Metal] which sequences in the original film would accompany it and did this have an effect on your composing it?

I wrote this song based on the title opening footage. There is a Corvette flying through space and an explosion in the end of the scene. The lyrics follow the opening footage. I had no idea where they would use the song but thought that the opening set up the entire film very well.

Do you remember which guitar model and effects you used laying down the original recording years ago?

I used a 59 Les Paul with a Fender tweed deluxe amp. I also had an old echoplex and a boss chorus unit in line.

What was your mixing secret in order to get that “spacey” sound on the album track?

We recorded and mixed the track at Westlake recording studios in Hollywood. Michael Jackson was recording with Quincy Jones in the studio next door. We used some of the echo units (EMT’s) that they had brought in for their session.

How do you best achieve this unique sound playing the song live?

I use very close to the same equipment that I used on the record. It’s pretty easy to recreate the sound and effect.

Would you be open to making the sheet music or guitar tabs available to guitar players over the internet?

I prefer not to release these over the internet as they are controlled by my publishing company which is distributed by Warner Brothers Music. They are copyrighted and can not be distributed over the internet that way.

  • tony

    I went to eagles concert last nite and they changed guitar after every song why do they do that? They didn’t do it as much in the 2 concerts I seen years ago

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  • Felderfans

    Don’s really rocking that Wall Street meets the Beach Boys look!

  • Andy Shriver

    Hi Don – I go back to One of These Nights, but my question is directed at the rig you used for HFO. The tremolo effect that you used on Help Me Through the Night while playing the White Falcon blew me away. What was that? Yes – I am a huge fan – please help a cat out! BTW -your solo on One of These Nights was what pushed me over the edge and helped to make me the player I am.

    Many thanks in advance, and please do not stop being the badass player you are!

  • Hunter

    Hi, Mr.Felder I would like to know if you would be interested in adding “Lyin Eyes” and “New Kid In Town” to your setlist. These are some of my favorite Eagles songs. I hope to see them on your setlist one day! also, thanks for being so down to Earth.

  • Hunter

    Hi, Mr.Felder I would like to know if you would be interested in adding “Lyin Eyes” and “New Kid In Town” to your setlist. These are some of my favorite Eagles songs. These songs may not be popular for their guitar parts, but, I personally love the songs for the guitar parts, I hope to see them on your setlist one day! also, thanks for being so down to Earth.

  • Sileus

    Hello Mr. Felder. I’d like to ask you about the song “All of you”.
    Who plays the bass on that song?

  • David Lawlor

    Mr Felder, I love the Eagles and they were great before you arrived. However, you added a dimension to the Eagles that took them up a notch. When you left, they not only reverted back to where they were before, but they even seemed to slip lower. No offense to the other guys, but they were never the same without you. Sometimes the ingredients make the soup. Even the ingredients that do not seem to dominate the taste can ruin the broth if they are left out. I know that you feel pain for not having been with them in the end, but whether they admit it or not, they were sorry you were gone. I have great admiration for you sir. Keep rockin’ and playing brother!
    PS: Since Glenn’s passing has Joe contacted you or thought about playing with you on stage again? (I hope so!!)

  • Ben Hoffman

    Hi Don, I’m a big fan of your rhythm guitar playing — especially in songs like Lyin’ Eyes, Take it to the limit, and others. I guess the slower songs. Your fills and passing chords are brilliant.

    Who were your influences for that style? Some of that I don’t think can be taught; it’s just feel that you’re either born with or not, but you have any instruction videos for that style?